I get to work with a lot of great clients and developers who have to work together to make the magic happen. There is always a certain amount of strain between what the marketing department needs and where the development team thinks it should fit into the schedule. Then once the dev team is actually working on it the stress level ratchets up again.
Marketing has already made a vague promise and now the developers have to meet the deadline. Sometimes it’s a fair deadline, almost always it’s an aggressive timeline and occasionally it’s just crazy.
There’s a problem that we all deal with. We want to connect with all the smartest people in our area, but sometimes the smartest and most capable people aren’t very visible to us.
A couple weeks ago I met 3 people that I didn’t even know existed and yet they were all amazing. How is that possible?
I decided to ask some of the smartest and best connected people I know who they feel is flying below the radar. We all know people who are amazing, but not well known.
Below is the list – in no particular order, it’s just the order in which people got back to me. I’ve made the list as easy as possible for you to connect with them.
Do you know someone who missing from the list? Let me know in the comments.
In the winter of 2008 I was on the verge of getting fired from my job as a web developer at McClatchy Digital. The entire newspaper industry had fallen through a hole in the floor and people were being laid off left and right.
Even though I was a low-level web developer, I could see the writing on the wall even if the brain-trust out at the corporate offices in Sacramento was still convinced everything would bounce back in a few months.
Do you wish your site loaded quicker?
We all want our site to load as quick as possible for our users convenience and to keep Googlebot happy.
My friend Janet’s new site was dead slow when she asked me to take a look. Here’s how I spent about a couple of hours to get a WordPress site to load in about 2 seconds. When I started in was regularly taking over 10 seconds, sometimes hitting 20 seconds.
Have you been thinking that you should move your business online and start selling globally?
Unless you are offering something spectacular or something dirt cheap, you should proceed with caution.
“My product is so boring that I can’t create compelling content around it.”
You don’t have to talk about the concept of content marketing for very long before you run headlong into this statement. It’s usually someone who has been at the same company a long time. Sometimes even the founder.
You’re right. You never should have taken the job of promoting it, because you’re doomed to fail. Give up now and start sending out resumes to apply for jobs listed in your local newspaper.
We all visit stores sometimes and ask what we think is a simple question yet receive back an unexpected answer. We often follow up with something like, “why is that?”
The worst of all possible answers to hear at this point in the conversation is, “That’s our policy”. That eye-roller barely wins out over the other infuriating phrase known to patrons around the world, “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do.”
While reading Mark Schaefers‘s The business case for cheating your way to social media superstardom this morning I noticed something. When we cheat it’s “gaining an advantage”, when others do we say it’s “cheating” or “a scam” and sometimes even “scum”.
Yesterday I read a great post by Owen Good entitled, A-Rod May Not Be in MLB’s Next Video Game, but Virtual PEDs Will. Good draws a brilliant parallel that had never occurred to me before. If you’re playing a video game (like MLB 10) and you pay real money to buy additional skills for your virtual player are you digitally juicing?
I try to check Facebook at least once a day, usually on my phone and usually just before heading to bed. I “like” a handful of things and call it a day.
I am on Google in some way, shape or form the entire day. GMail, Google search, Google Maps, Google Plus, Google Local Business, Google Reviews, Google Shopping and even answering questions in Google’s Webmaster Forum.
It got me thinking about how Facebook can possibly think it is possible to hold off Google+ as the default social platform in the coming years.
I’ll admit that I am not a power-user on either platform, which probably is like 99.9% of the users. So I decided to ask on each platform if people are active on the other platform. On Google+ I asked if people were using Facebook and on Facebook I asked if people were using Google+.
If there is one thing that drives me crazy it’s all the excuses people make up. Maybe I just notice it more now than I used to, but I’m seeing it everywhere, especially from people in their 20’s and early 30’s. I don’t remember if I was the same way, but I fear I probably was.
There are a lot of people watching and waiting for you to do anything so they can tell you that you’re wrong. You’re not as good as someone else. You’re not as good as the person you replaced. You’re not photogenic. You’re not smart enough. You don’t have the right degree.
I get it, it’s scary. Standing up and saying, “this is me” takes a fair amount of courage. “This is the best I can give you” is a terrifying sentence to say, because we fear that the person we’re saying it to might reply, “it’s not enough.”
Spoiler alert: That person doesn’t matter.
I had a long flight out the West Coast this week that gave me some time to think. One thing that popped into my mind is how all of us feel additional pressure when we know someone is watching us. That’s why we drive the speed limit when the State Trooper is behind us on the highway.
In the strange world of SEO, most companies hide the fact that they are involved with an SEO agency. What got me thinking about is was watching my friend Mike King on Twitter. Mike is a constant presence on social media and is connected to a lot of people.
Where are you in the org chart?
It’s a funny question in 21st century America. Why the hell should it matter? Am I valuable? Can I help you?
Growing up in Boston I saw the end of the career of John Havilcek. He is commonly thought of as the greatest sixth man in NBA history (especially in Boston). If you’re not familiar with that term, it was a concept that hall of fame coach Red Auerbach came up with. He would use a superb player in a “off the bench” role, supporting the starting five.
John Havileck was great. He was the first player to scored over 1,000 every year of his (16 year) career. Red Auerbach called him the “guts of the team”.
What Red Aurebach, the Boston Celtics and the rest of the NBA figured out, Havileck didn’t fit into a traditional basketball team org chart, He was a special case. He did his best work as an outlier. He helped his team win 8 NBA titles as a sixth man. He made it into the basketball hall of fame as someone who bucked the system.
Sometimes the most valuable people in your organization don’t fit so nicely into the pre-built pigeon holes that you have had in place the last 20 years. Babe Ruth was a great pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but that’s not what he’s remembered as. He’s remembered for fundamentally changing the game, and essentially saving it.
That’s Not My Department
I run an SEO department at Virante Search Marketing. I try to always get opinions from outside my department. When someone offers help, I usually reply with, “hellz yes”. The reason it’s easy for me to not get overwhelmed by an org chart is that I never fit into one myself.
In high school as soon as I made the team as a catcher, I was bugging the coach to let me pitch. As soon as I got hired as a web developer I was bugging the marketing team with SEO ideas. When I talk to SEO clients, I end up talking about content marketing, customer service and social media.
I once heard a very smart woman use the phrase “make heroes of the brave“. It has become one of my guiding ideas. I know there are people who love the structure and defend their org chart like it’s a feudal kingdom and you are some type of barbarian, but don’t give up. The barbarians always triumph in the end.
In 1970 Honda unleashed the N600 sedan on the American consumer. The car featured front wheel drive and an air-cooled, four stroke, 31 horsepowered two-cylinder engine, which was borrowed from the Honda CB450 motorcycle.
Honda didn’t think the N600 would replace the Chevy Impala, but they had to start somewhere. It’s the same on the web.
Every SEO gets asked the dreaded “how long until I’m number one on Google” a lot. At that point our job becomes one of teacher. Ranking first on Google means that your web page is better than any of the other 40 trillion pages on the web. That’s a pretty high bar right out of the gate.
So you spend a year making your site more responsive, adding better content, optimizing for conversions and building out your community. You still have very little traffic. You start to think you’re doing something wrong. You start asking around and looking at your competitors. Amazon makes it look so easy.
As you start to slog your way through year two you see some progress. You are starting to attract some links, a few people start to leave comments on your blog posts. Now you can feel your expectations start to rise. You feel like something good is right around the corner. Okay, maybe the next corner. Damnit, maybe that next one.
This is where half of the population gives up. This is what Seth Godin refers to as “the dip“. Seth’s main point in that book is knowing when it’s a dip that you have to power through, or something you should quit all together and move on.
I’ve heard it said that it always feels like you’re losing, right before you win. If you still love what you’re doing and it feels right, I implore you to stay on the treadmill a little bit longer. Real success doesn’t come overnight.
I still remember the impact of Chris Brogan’s blog post about overnight success from way back in 2009 and how it made me more determined than ever.
I try to help out my friends as often as I can. I value my weekends tremendously, but when Marty says he needs my support to make sure his Free Internet Marketing Consulting Saturdays continues to gain momentum, I show up. When I write long-winded SEO posts for the Virante blog, I use people I know and respect as examples. I’m no different that the majority of bloggers when it comes to supporting my friends.
I organize a fairly popular Meetup.com group about Search Engine Optimization in Raleigh. In the last few years I’ve received hundreds of emails letting me know that someone new has joined. In about 95% of the cases people join the group with little or no additional information added to their Meetup.com profile.
I hear a very common refrain from LinkedIn users. “I refuse to connect with people who send me the default LinkedIn connection request!”
I never understood that. I’ve listened to their logic, “If they can’t bother to spend two minutes customizing it, then I can’t be bothered to connect.”
While I was out picking up some yard supplies this morning I entered into a Twitter conversation with my friend who asked if I could recommend anyone to help moderate some of the panels at this year’s Internet Summit.
I need a couple of moderators for panels – do you have anyone you can recommend as being Entertaining, Intelligent, Engaging…?
As I started going through the Rolodex in my head it dawned on me that what I was really doing was giving her a list of people I would want to see moderating a panel. People I feel are entertaining, intelligent and engaging. Then it dawned on me that I don’t enough people how much I enjoy their contributions to the whole online/social/interactive scene here in the Triangle.
Last week I heard Wil Reynolds mention in passing about the instant results when you type “how do I get my husband to…” versus “how do I get my wife to…” in Google.
The results show the giant gulf between men and women and why the two will never understand each other.
I’m not sure what this indicates beyond the obvious, but if you want to kill a few minutes, try out some searches like this where you see what Google instant shows you for the most searched phrases. Another fun one is, “is it illegal to…”
Now, go tell your spouse something nice.
It’s not always easy to be an SEO. It’s an industry like lawyers and plastic surgeons. There are great ones, but there are so many bad ones that the entire industry has a bad name.
Today I was trying to answer a couple of questions in Google’s Webmaster Central when I saw a thread entitled “Can someone tell me how to qualify to be a Google SEO Qualified company?” I love looking into crazy threads like this because you never know where it’s going to lead you. This on was a guy asking a question because he saw a site that had what he assumed was a valid Google badge for SEO certification.